Coming Home by John Legend
In the song “coming home” by John Legend, he suggests the feelings that are felt by many and yet not many of these feelings are expressed as deeply as these people may feel in songs or poetry. The common responses to war mainly focus on victory, courage, ammunition, power, and the list goes on. Only a few talk or sing about that empty space a soldier leaves behind, that lovely daughter yet to be born, that son who goes through the childhood mile stones without his father, that mother who prays day and night for her son’s return, or that father who waits tirelessly for his son’s return.
The first point this song suggests is the impact war leaves behind on the families and loved ones. And perhaps the biggest question would be whether that soldier will return home in one piece. Therefore, there are three points the artist is making in this song; the fact of leaving and going to war, surviving the war, and returning home after the war.
First, the artist addresses leaving for war by singing, “a new year, a new enemy, another soldier gone to war, another story told before, now it’s told again.” Looking at these lyrics, the artist is trying to suggest that it is a soldier’s expectation to always be ready for combat. This gives any soldier no chance to relax while at home because enemies come around every year. With this, going into combat may have been a story heard before and certainly is a part of each soldier.
Secondly, making it home is determined by one’s survival during war. The singer sings, “We fight to stay alive, but somebody’s got to die.” Here the singer is suggesting the message that staying alive a not a given and that it is a constant battle to stay alive, if you don’t watch it, you die. Also, he is portraying a message that soldiers are expected to die in combat.
Thirdly, the soldier that left the void is expected to come back. After serious analysis, the irony is whether the soldier is coming back dead or alive. Regardless of which the soldier may be in, he or she will be coming home. “If you still have a place for me, won’t you wait for me, so you know that I’ll be coming home?” These are questions the writer poses to the families and loved ones waiting. All in all, the song affects both the soldier and loved ones. This career can easily draw these people’s lives apart. And due to the world we are living in, this circle continues to spin and never stops.
Lastly, watching the video artistically ties the words and the picture together by showing how the families yearn for the return of the soldiers, the soldiers fight to stay alive, and the soldiers desire to return home. With this, the artist is trying to show that the impact war puts on families and soldiers is burdensome. And the fact of reuniting is very important.
Here are the links to the YouTube videos.
Here is the link to the lyrics.